Travel 09 May 2024

Thomas Keller Talks 20 Years of Per Se and His New York

The chef behind the Three MICHELIN Star staple shares his love of Manhattan.

New York City by The MICHELIN Guide

See the New York City guide

There are few chefs known by just a monogram, but TK or Thomas Keller is one of these figures. The chef behind Three MICHELIN Star Per Se, Three MICHELIN Star and Green Star The French Laundry, and One MICHELIN Star The Surf Club Restaurant has proven his culinary prowess and talents for more than three decades, but for Chef Keller, despite the move to California, he always knew he wanted to return to New York City.

His first foray came in 1986 with the opening of Rakel, where Chef Keller highlighted a refined vision of French-American cuisine. A bi-coastal life, including opening The French Laundry (celebrating its 30th anniversary this July), followed, but it wasn't until 2004 when he re-entered Manhattan opening Per Se.

Chef Keller enlisted Jonathan Benno as his chef de cuisine and selected the restaurant's location, Columbus Circle, given its eye-watering views of the city and Central Park. We caught up with Chef Keller at Per Se's 20th anniversary earlier this year to catch up about his favorite moments over two decades, what neighborhood feels like home, and what's next.

Explore more insights on New York from our Inspectors, chefs, and celebrities.

Hero image: Deborah Jones / Thomas Keller


Keep Exploring - Stories we think you will enjoy reading